Visiting Bangkok Disneyland or Dream World
Our goal on Wednesday was simple. We were going to visit Dream World and I wanted to add three more roller coasters to my “credit count”. If the park was nice it would be a treat, but I wasn’t expecting much, given the quality of the other parks we have visited in Asia so far. Genting Highlands sure left a bad taste in my mouth.
Dream World or as many call it “Bangkok Disneyland”, runs a tour for 1000 Baht per person that includes a ticket and transportation and a buffet lunch. While we considered this, with tickets only selling for 450Baht per person, we figured it would be cheaper to take a taxi. Around 9am we hailed a cab outside of our hotel and began the fifty minute drive to Dream World.
The theme park lies about 50km from the Bangkok CBD. While it is far away from the city, Dream World is very popular among the Thai people and is by far the largest theme park in Thailand. I knew that the park had a ride called Space Mountain, but wasn’t sure if it would draw comparisons to the one at Disneyland or not. After looking at the front entrance, I should have gotten the hint. Dream World definitely earns its reputation as Bangkok Disneyland. The front entrance sign reminds us that it is definitely a small world after all.
Dream World sits on a long thin strip of land and thus is set up a bit differently than most parks. It is comprised of four sections including the Entry Plaza, an area full of gardens and statues, Fantasyland and Adventureland. (More Disneyland similiraties.) Upon walking from front to back, you go through one section after the other.
In the front of the park we noticed that there were not many rides. This section does have the skyway, a miniature train, and their junior family roller coaster, but the focus of this area is the gardens. In these gardens are replicas of famous buildings, cartoon characters and even famous sharks. It mostly exists for photo opportunities.
After getting through the gardens area and riding on the kiddie coaster, we walked past an area called Fantasyland. This area used to house a story book boats attraction that is no longer there. Now left behind are recreations of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle (Big surprise) and other famous buildings ripped straight from your favorite fairy tale.
Following a few minutes walking along the story book buildings, we found ourselves in Adventureland which is home to the park’s other two coasters. Immediately I noticed something horribly wrong. Yes, in Dream World, Space Mountain is located inside Adventureland! Didn’t they do their research? Once I saw this ride, there was no question as to where to go next.
We walked inside the queue and found some resemblances to Disneyland’s version although this queue is quite small. Once on the ride, we concluded that it was certainly a Space Mountain rip off, housing both a launch and re-entry tunnel and some rudimentary special effects inside. Unlike the Disneyland version though, this Space Mountain also had meteors and spaceships inside the attraction in addition to the projected stars
While Dream World’s Space Mountain was fun, it definitely wasn’t a substitute for the Disneyland version. Following two go arounds through space, we headed over to the Sky Coaster. The Sky Coaster is a suspended ride that basically goes travels through what seems like endless helixes. The ride was fun, but not life changing at all. From the sky coaster we visited The Haunted Mansion, which was a walk through haunted maze type attraction.
It was definitely fun to see first hand why Dream World is known as Bangkok Disneyland. It is actually a very nice park though and we really enjoyed our visit. The park is also home to a number of smaller attractions and a few Southeast Asia theme park staples such as elephant rides. Some were good and others, not so much! After arriving at 10am we headed back for the taxi stand at 3pm and made the one hour drive back to Bangkok.
In the end it was a lot of fun and we were glad that we made the trek out to Dream World, even if it isn’t really a substitute for Disneyland.